ERG SES G 07, Innovative Intercultural Learning in Education
Although cultural and linguistic diversity is not a new phenomenon in the German education system, recent immigration since 2015 (once again) challenged schools and teachers. Schools are required to adjust continuously and constantly to this changing diversity. However, they handle migration dynamics reactively (Bos/Jungermann 2017: 179), ad hoc (Ehlich 2017: 250) and discontinuously (Gogolin 2016: 33). In Hamburg, newly arrived pupils in secondary schools are educated primarily in preparatory classes, where the focus is on the systematic acquisition of the German language. The subsequent transition into the mainstream system is considered particularly challenging for the language education of the pupils as the acquisition of German as a second and academic language is not completed yet. Hence, education policies require a close interlinking between preparatory and mainstream classes with special regard to language teaching (BSB 2012), which should take into account the instruction of German as well as the productive inclusion of all linguistic repertoires pupils bring to the classrooms (Tracy 2014; Fürstenau 2017). However so far, there has not been any scientific research analysis about how the schools implement policies and organise the transition.
Based on ethnographic data from a research project, the paper investigates which support measures have a positive impact on the language education of newly arrived pupils. The first aim is to present findings on how language education opportunities and the interlinking of linguistic and subject-specific learning are organised in lower-secondary education on an individual school level. The second aim is to provide findings on which of the opportunities pupils can use to their advantage.
The theoretical framework builds upon scientific findings of research in language learning. In order to investigate the social context of learning as well as the personal initiative of the pupils, the project relies on the Model of Investment (Norton 1995; Darvin/Norton 2015). According to this model, learning is a social as well as a cognitive process with the activity of the learner in its centre.
The model demonstrates that the investment in learning a second language consists of an interplay between ideology,capital and identity. Thereby, the concept takes into account that the (formal) learning and the (informal) acquisition of language proceeds in a dynamic dependence of 1) socio-political power structures, 2) existing and changing linguistic capital and 3) the social (self- and external) positioning of the learner. This model is appropriate for the investigation of the language education of newly arrived pupils as it combines a linguistic and a sociocultural perspective and, thus, allows taking into account the special conditions newly arrived pupils are subject to when learning the majority language.
The study takes place in a school in Hamburg that educates newly arrived pupils in an integrative way (Dewitz/Massumi 2017: 32). After a few weeks, the pupils are assigned to mainstream classes and get once per day a language support in a preparatory class. The ethnographic research of two years consists of participatory observation, informal conversations and qualitative interviews. After an explorative study of three months from May to July 2018, three key participant children were chosen whom the researcher would accompany during the two years. Once a week, the preparatory class is visited in order to continuously observe and analyse the language learning process. Additionally, five times a year the researcher spends an entire week in the schools. On this occasion, the key participant pupils are not only observed in the preparatory class but also in their mainstream classes and during the day. Informal conversations with the pupils, their teachers and other educational staff occur during these periods. In the second year, narrative interviews with the three key participant children will be conducted. Additionally, guideline-based expert interviews with teachers, school administrators and educational staff offer another perspective on their language education and the educational opportunities of the school. The paper presents findings and data from the first year of research: Observation protocols of the first five research stays as well as the continuous visits, protocols of informal conversations and transcripts from eight expert interviews. The aim of the data analysis of the research presented above is the reconstruction of the language education opportunities as well as the language education process. Therefore, data is analysed by combining coding methods of the Grounded Theory (Charmaz 2014) with sequence analysis (Rosenthal 2015). Firstly, protocols are coded in order to gain first analytical themes (Breidenstein et al. 2015:117). Thus, highly relevant text passages are identified. Secondly, these passages are sequentially analysed in order to reconstruct the underlying structure of the data. Thirdly, the in-depth-analysed passages are re-embedded in the context and key categories are generated through selective coding (Charmaz 2014: 38). As the expert interviews aim at the shared knowledge of the interviewees, transcripts are primary coded and not sequentially analysed. Through data analysis and with reference to the theoretical framework, a school portrait and three case studies will be developed.
The paper will present first results of the ongoing study. a) It gives insights into the organisational framework and the pedagogic-didactic arrangement of the language education opportunities: • Besides the preparatory class, pupils who need special support in German language learning have the possibility to participate once a day in an extra instruction in German. The multilingual cultural mediator of the school gives these classes to small groups from five to ten pupils. • In the mainstream classes, every pupil works on his or her individual work schedule. This allows newly arrived pupils not being overstrained as well as working the same way as their whole class. • An Arabic class gives Arabic-speaking pupils the possibility to replace a second foreign language. b) Based on the analysis of lesson sequences, findings will be presented as to how the pupils with their diverse linguistic, cognitive and social conditions use these opportunities: • Pupils participate considerable autonomously in the opportunities, as they are free in choosing which opportunities they perceive and how often they perceive them. • Pupils use their full linguistic repertoire in order to make meaning or gain understanding. In consideration of the theoretical background outlined above and by presenting selected data, the paper gives deeper insights to the mentioned aspects in order to give first answers on which support measures have a positive impact on the language education of newly arrived pupils.
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